Eating with Braces
Learning to eat with braces will take some time, but you will get used to it. If your teeth are sore, begin by eating soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long you'll be able to eat most things again, but you'll need to be careful to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Hard foods: pizza crust, nuts, suckers, ICE!
- Crunchy foods: chips, celery
- Foods you need to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Sticky foods: caramel, gum, candy
- Chewing on hard things: pens, pencils, fingernails
Remember, damage to your braces will cause your treatment to take longer. Please help us by avoiding these types of foods and taking good care of your braces.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. Given time, the teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new, corrected positions.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument or the eraser end of a pencil and carefully push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to adjust or repair the appliances. If any piece comes off please save it and bring it with you to the office.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist as a team. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Cooperation will also be necessary to take good care of the braces so treatment time can be held to a minimum.
If you play sports, it is important for you to consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident or injury involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, please call our office.
When you have braces it is more important than ever to brush and floss regularly so the teeth and gums are healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may develop permanent marks and stains on their teeth and may also develop gum tissue problems that may require additional treatment. It should be understood that braces do not cause these problems, but rather poor oral hygiene does. Throughout your orthodontic treatment it is very important for you to continue to see your family dentist for professional cleanings and checkups, however proper brushing and flossing is essential every day and is the responsibility of the patient.